How you divide your property can be one of the most challenging issues in your divorce. One asset which causes more issues than most is the family home. You often hear divorcees celebrating how they kept the house or complaining about how their spouse took it from them.
Yet, a home is just one of the things you own. Sometimes it may not be as valuable as you think.
Valuing a home in divorce is about more than its market value
Getting an up to date valuation on property is essential, but does not tell the whole story. Here are some other things to consider:
- How much of the mortgage remains unpaid? Let’s say you could sell your home for $800,000. If you sold it and paid off the mortgage, how much would you still have in your hand? That is a better way to calculate how much value is in your home. If you decide to keep the house, make sure you can pay the mortgage.
- How much will the home cost to upkeep: A large property will cost more to maintain. A small roof is cheaper to replace than a large roof. A small garden costs less to maintain than a few acres. Old houses can soon lose value without constant investment.
- What will you give up to get the family home? You need to look at the total value of assets. You may be better off giving up the house in exchange for other assets of a similar worth when dividing property.
Many couples find the best thing to do in a divorce is to sell the family home. Doing so often makes financial sense and allows you to cut your ties with the past more cleanly. It avoids the specter of your ex lingering to haunt you in a property you shared.